Deposit Your Thesis

All research postgraduate students registered from October 2011 are required to deposit one printed copy and one electronic copy of their thesis.

Students who enrolled before October 2011 are not required to archive an electronic copy of their thesis, but are invited to do so.

Making research theses openly accessible aims to make them more discoverable and easier to access. Researchers will disseminate their work to a wider audience which will enhance the visibility of the researcher as well as the research reputation of Lancaster University.

The following sections provide full details on what you need to do and the various aspects of the process. Please read through each section before following the instructions on depositing your thesis. If you need help with any aspect of the process please contact us.

You can find the full official Lancaster University regulations on theses in the latest edition of the Manual of Academic Regulations and Procedures (MARP). You should use the version of MARP in force at the time when you registered.

  • Instructions for depositing your thesis

    Depositing your electronic thesis - for students registered during and after October 2011

    Before depositing the final version of your thesis you should ensure that you do the following:

    • Ensure that you have made best efforts to seek permission to include any third party copyright material in the electronic version of your thesis. If you have been unable to gain all necessary permissions, decide if you want to make an edited version publicly available.
    • Discuss with your supervisor whether or not there is a reason for restricting access to your thesis. If you do wish to restrict access to your thesis you will need the signature of your Head of Department on the Thesis Access Declaration form.  
    • Complete the Thesis Access Declaration Form Post October 2011 This should be sent to the Student Registry when you are ready to deposit the final version of your print copy and deposit your electronic version in Pure.

    Send your completed form to the Student Registry by one of the following ways:

    By-hand: Leave at the The Base in Alexandra Square

    By email recordsenquiries@lancaster.ac.uk

    By post: Student Registry, A Floor University House, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YW

    Instructions for electronic theses that are to be made available immediately (no embargoes, no copyright restrictions):

    • You need to deposit the electronic version of your thesis into Pure
    • Research students have access to Pure and can sign in with their network account
    • You should have the final version of your thesis as a single PDF file
    • Ensure that your file is named according to the format yearnamedegree.pdf (eg 2016smithphd.pdf)
    • Use the information in the Pure user guide to add an electronic copy of your thesis to Pure
    • Once your thesis has been uploaded to Pure, the Student Registry will be informed that you have complied with University regulations

    Instructions for electronic theses where access is to be restricted, either due to an embargo or due to the inclusion of third party copyright material

    If you have been granted an embargo or if your thesis contains third party copyright material you do not have permission to include within the electronic version, access to the full text of the thesis will be restricted. In the case of embargoed or restricted theses, the access restriction will be dependent on the length of time for which restriction has been granted (up to a maximum of 5 years).

    Embargoed theses

    • The instructions for depositing your thesis in Pure are as above. You will need to include details of the length of restriction, e.g. restricted until 2022, in the appropriate section of the Pure screen.
    • The Pure support staff will verify the embargo details with the Student Registry before restricting access to the thesis. Please make sure you have returned the Thesis Access Declaration Form to the Student Registry containing the required authorisation for the restriction.
    • Once your thesis has been uploaded and validated, the Registry will be informed.

    Edited versions of theses with third party copyright removed

    • If you have created an edited version of your thesis to remove third party copyright, you may deposit this for public access in addition to the restricted unedited version.  
    • You should give the versions different filenames using the following format.  
      Edited (public view) version - yearnamedegree.pdf (e.g. 2017smithphd.pdf).
      Unedited (not for public view) version - yearnamedegreeinternal.pdf (e.g. 2017smithphdinternal.pdf)
    • Please note that the print copy you deposit will be the unedited version
    • Once your thesis has been uploaded and validated, the Registry will be informed.

    Depositing your print thesis - all students

    For students registered during and after October 2011 University regulations require you to deposit a single hardbound print copy of the final version of your thesis. Students registered before October 2011 will need to provide two print copies in accordance with the University regulations in force at the time you registered.

    The University has specific rules for the presentation of the hard-bound print thesis, available in Appendix 2 in the Manual of Academic Regulations and Procedures.

    You can have your print thesis bound by the Design, Photography and Print unit on campus. They will inform the registry when you deposit your print thesis for binding.

    However, provided that your thesis meets the University's requirements, you are welcome to use any reputable printing/binding firm. In this instance, you will need to send the hardbound copy to the Student Registry when ready.

    Depositing a thesis - for students registered before October 2011

    Before depositing your thesis please:

    • Ensure that you have made best efforts to seek permission to include any third party copyright material in the electronic version of your thesis. If you have been unable to gain all necessary permissions, decide if you want to make an edited version publicly available.
    • Complete the Thesis Access Declaration Form Pre Oct 2011 and send it to Annette Lawrence, The Library, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YH
    • Convert the final version of your thesis to a single PDF file  
    • Ensure that your file is named according to the format yearnamedegree.pdf (eg 2017smithphd.pdf)
    • Please contact the Pure support team at library@lancaster.ac.uk for details and guidance on sending the electronic version of your thesis for upload.
    • You will still need to provide two print copies of your thesis in accordance with the University regulations in force at the time you registered.

    What happens after you have deposited your thesis?

    Electronic

    The Pure support team will check the information you have provided and add further details.

    If you have chosen to make your thesis available immediately with no embargoes it will be available in the institutional repository shortly after deposit (assuming there are no problems with the file you have deposited - if there are we will contact you).

    If you have been granted an embargo, the full text of your thesis will not appear publicly until after this period has elapsed. However, the details about your thesis, e.g. author, title etc. will be made publicly available at the point of deposit. If access to your thesis has been restricted for copyright reasons it will not appear in the repository at all unless you have also provided an edited version.

    Print

    When the thesis has been bound it will be added to the thesis archive in the University Library.  Details about your thesis will be available via OneSearch.

  • Embargoes

    There may be a valid reason why you need to restrict access to your thesis. In most cases this will be for a limited period of time

    Restricting Access to your Thesis

    There are a range of reasons why it may be necessary to restrict access to your thesis. Because theses can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, grounds for embargoing access to a thesis need to relate to one of the exemptions provided for by the Act. The most common reasons why you might need to embargo access are listed below:

    • Your thesis is due for publication, either as a series of articles or as a monograph
    • Your thesis has been commercially sponsored and you may have signed a agreement which does not permit you to make it publicly available
    • Your thesis contains commercially sensitive information, the release of which might prejudice the commercial interests of any person including the author, the University or an external company
    • Your thesis includes material that was obtained under a promise of confidentiality
    • The release of your thesis might endanger the physical or mental health or the safety of an individual

    detailed list and guidance on the scope of exemptions is available from the Information Commissioner's Office.

    Theses may also be requested under the Environmental Information Regulations. If you think you may need to restrict access to your thesis in relation to environmental information you may need to specify an EIRs exception rather than an FoI exemption.

    You should talk to your supervisor when establishing if there is a need to restrict access to your thesis. They will be able to advise if one of the exemptions permitted under the Act is applicable.

    Requests for embargoes should be made on the Thesis Access Declaration form. You must indicate in the space provided in the form which exemption you are claiming, and why you feel an exemption is necessary. It is important that you hand this form in to the Student Registry when you are ready to deposit the final version of your thesis so that there is time for your request to be considered. Your Head of Department is required to sign the Thesis Access Declaration form to indicate that he/she agrees with your decision on restricting access to your thesis. The restriction will then be approved by the Student Registry on receipt of the form.

    If requests are approved, theses will normally be embargoed for up to a maximum of five years.

    At the end of the embargo period, the restrictions on access will be removed automatically. It is your responsibility to contact the Student Registry well in advance if you need to extend the embargo. You will have to make a written case to the Student Registry for the extension.

    If you are granted an embargo but decide it is no longer necessary, contact us. We will contact your Head of Department to confirm that it is appropriate to make the thesis available earlier.

  • Format

    Thesis layout and presentation (electronic and print)

    University guidelines on the layout and presentation of your thesis are available. It is recommended that you consult them in the first instance if you are unsure of how to present your thesis. Consult the Manual of Academic Regulations and Procedures (MARP), Appendix 2.  The Student Registry can also advise on the requirements for thesis layout and presentation.

    There is an (unofficial) Microsoft Word template satisfying the MARP requirements, along with some useful links, available at http://bit.ly/LUThesis

    Formatting

    The electronic version of your thesis should be deposited as a single PDF file.  However, it is acceptable to deposit a small number of individual files if you experience difficulties in producing a single file for conversion to PDF.

    Before converting to PDF you need to ensure that you have incorporated any elements of the thesis created in programs such as Excel, etc. into the main body of the thesis to create a single PDF file.  However, if there are multimedia elements that you are unable to incorporate into the main body of your thesis it may be possible to upload these as a separate file.

    Filename

    You should save the PDF version of your thesis using the following filename format: yearnamedegree.pdf, eg 2017smithphd.pdf or 2017jonesmphil.pdf

    If you need to deposit two files, one complete and one with third party copyright material edited out you should give them different filenames using the following format:

    • edited (public version): yearnamedegree.pdf, eg 2017smithphd.pdf
    • full (not for public view) version: yearnamedegreeinternal.pdf, eg 2017smithphdinternal.pdf

    If you need to deposit additional multimedia files that cannot be incorporated into the main PDF file you should use the same file name with the addition of information about the type of media being deposited. eg: 2017smithphd_audio.mpeg

    Depositing associated multimedia files 

    The main body of your thesis, including associated images, data, tables etc. must be deposited as a PDF document. However, if your thesis has associated multimedia e.g. audio file or video clips, these can be uploaded separately. No guarantee can be given that such files will continue to be accessible in the future. The relevant software for playing such files will not be provided via the institutional repository. Note that you should only upload multimedia files where you own the copyright, or where you have cleared any necessary rights.

    Creating an edited version of your thesis

    If you have been unable to secure all the necessary third party copyright permissions for your thesis you will not be able to make the full version available online. You will still be required to deposit this copy, and it will be held securely. However, you may wish to make an edited version publicly available. If this is the case you should save an additional copy of your thesis, remove the relevant material and insert a place holder at this point in the document, eg "Figure (Text/Chart/Diagram/image etc) has been removed due to Copyright restrictions".

    Remember that you need to deposit both the full and the edited version of your thesis, and that these should be given different filenames (see above).

  • Supervisors

    Introduction

    From October 2011, students registering for research degrees at Lancaster University are required to submit one print and one electronic copy of their thesis. This change to the regulations was agreed at Senate in June 2011. It applies to the following degrees: PhD, MD, DClinPsy and MPhil. The change does not affect dissertations produced as part of the requirements of taught Masters' degrees, nor to undergraduate dissertations.

    Theses are made available online through the University Institutional Repository, Lancaster EPrints and the British Library's EThOS service. They are freely available and can be found through search engines.

    Many UK universities already require the electronic deposit of doctoral theses, and have well-established collections. Other universities are working towards implementing an electronic theses policy.

    Lancaster graduates who are not required to submit their theses electronically should be encouraged to do so.

    The role of supervisors

    With the introduction of electronic theses you should be aware of issues which your students may raise. These may include:

    Restricting access to a thesis (embargo)

    The electronic version of a thesis is normally publicly available online. While this offers many advantages to the student, there are a number of reasons why it might not be appropriate for a thesis to be available online straight away. Students therefore have the option of asking for access to be restricted for a limited period (normally five years maximum). The Head of Department must countersign any request to restrict access and the embargo is approved by the Student Registry.

    Copyright

    Electronic theses introduce a new element of complexity into the copyright regime for theses, because of third-party copyright. This covers material such as maps, photographs, reproductions of paintings or long extracts of text which is not the work of the student. Historically it has been accepted within UK higher education that students may include third party copyright material in their thesis without asking permission of the copyright holder. This is because print theses are unpublished documents produced for the purpose of examination. However, when a thesis is made available online, it is considered to be "communication to the public", and therefore published. This means that in order to make a thesis available online permission has to be obtained for any third party copyright material included. Supervisors are unlikely to get involved in this process, but it may be useful to discuss the issue with your students if they are likely to include a significant amount of third-party copyright material in their thesis.

    Lancaster University thesis regulations

    You can find the full official Lancaster University regulations on theses in the latest edition of the Manual of Academic Regulations and Procedures, which is often referred to as MARP . You should use the version of MARP in force at the time when the student registered.

  • Copyright
  • FAQs

    All the information you need about preparing and depositing an electronic version of your thesis should be available on this site. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions.

    Policy, Publishing and Plagiarism

    What are the advantages to me of making my thesis available electronically?

    Your work is much more visible, so it is likely to be better known and more highly cited. It is a flexible format, ideal if your work includes videos or graphics. You can include links to supplementary material too.

    Won’t Lancaster be at a disadvantage if it makes its students publish their doctoral theses on the web? Will it affect applications?

    On the contrary, most UK universities already require electronic submission of theses and there is no sign of this affecting their student applications. In fact it makes the University's research output more visible to potential applicants.

    I'm worried about plagiarism. Won't this make it easier for someone to pass off my work as their own?

    In fact the reverse is true! Making your thesis available electronically means that powerful online plagiarism detection services can quickly establish if someone else is using your material. Depositing your e-thesis makes it easier for other researchers to use and cite your work legitimately, using the accepted academic conventions.

    I want to publish my thesis as a book; won’t this put a stop to my discussions with a publisher?

    You may put an embargo on access to your thesis of up to five years. If this is not sufficient you will need to make a formal written case towards the end of that period to show why the embargo should be extended. However an extension beyond five year would only be made in exceptional circumstances.

    My thesis takes the form of a novel I want to publish.

    Again, you should apply for a five-year embargo in the first place.

    How will people find theses held in Lancaster's thesis repository?

    The thesis repository can be searched locally from OneSearch, but it is also harvested by major search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. There are links to it from UK-wide theses services such as EThOS.

    Who must deposit their Thesis electronically? Who else may do so if they wish?

    Which degrees are covered by the new regulations?

    PhD, DClinPsy, MD and MPhil. Taught postgraduate dissertations are not covered by the regulation change.

    I registered before the new regulations came in. May I deposit my thesis electronically too?

    Yes, you may deposit your thesis electronically if you wish. However, you do still need to provide two bound copies as specified in the regulations in force when you registered. Before you deposit your thesis, please complete the Thesis Deposit Form (Other Users) and then follow the instructions in this guide.

    I did my thesis at another university but I would like to deposit a copy here. May I?

    Certainly, you may deposit your thesis electronically if you wish. Before you deposit your thesis, please complete the Thesis Deposit Form (Other Users) and then follow the instructions in this guide.

    What will happen if I fail to deposit an electronic version of my thesis?

    You will not be permitted to graduate until you have deposited an electronic version of your thesis.

    Copyright and Access Restriction

    Can I restrict access to my thesis?

    For information on the options that may be open to you see the Embargoes section above.

    How does the Freedom of Information Act 2000 affect access to my thesis?

    For information on this see the Embargoes section above.

    What do I do if my thesis contains third party copyright material?

    For information on this see the Copyright section above.

    What do I do if I want to include works I have already published ?

    For details of what do do see the Copyright section above.

    Format

    Do I still need to hand in two bound copies of my thesis?

    No. Students who register in October 2011 or after will be required to submit one printed and one electronic copy of their thesis.

    What format does my thesis need to be in?

    See the Format section above.

    How do I convert my thesis to PDF format?

    See the Format section above.

    What do I do if I cannot produce a single PDF file of my thesis?

    If you are experiencing major difficulties in creating a single PDF file it is acceptable to upload a small number of separate PDF files, eg main thesis and appendices.